Create your own movie database easily with SmartMovieDB!

You can directly jump to the git repository that hosts this project 🙂

There’s a pretty nice source over the internet, regarding the creation of your own movie database.
You can read in detail its usage and functionality over the fore-mentioned link, but, generally, the following schematic explains how it works:

That is, you give as an input a text file that contains the desired movies’ names and with the help of the perl scrapper, you get an output of an sql format with all the sql commands that need to be done to your database.

This means of course some extra effort, so why don’t we go for an automatic process? What about an sql script runner, which takes as an input an SQL file, connects to the specified database and runs the generated from the scrapper script, queries?  It would be nice if we could stick with Perl, but I didn’t had the luxury to waste a lot of time on Perl-MySQL connection, so I chose the easy way, which is Java and fortunately, there is an easy way to do it, again with the support of an open source project (we ‘ll here need only one part of it, as you noticed, too).

I’m choosing to start with the Java project, which is responsible for reading an sql file and executing the included queries to a given database connection:

  • defines a valid database connection.
  • is responsible for the convertion of sql statements into databse queries.
  • coordinates the game, as the script runner’s instance needs a connection argument, which is actually passed by calling the getConnection() static method of

And that’s is! We ‘re good to go with the script runner’s part.

What is left now, is to find a way to connect the script runner (that takes an sql file and executes the existing queries into a db) with the perl scrapper.

According to the scrapper’s part, I’d firstly like to introduce a small parenthesis: I support open source software, so I’m here using the OMDB Api, instead of the iMDB’s API, so, together with some updates that had to be done to the scrapper script, here is the updated version of

#!/usr/bin/perl -w
use strict;
use XML::Simple;
use Data::Dumper;

my $xml = new XML::Simple;

die "Please make that you the movie title is provided into quotes!\n" if(!@ARGV);
my $movie = shift;
$movie =~ s/\s/+/g;

my $cmd = "curl$movie&y=&plot=short&r=xml";
my $movieData = `$cmd`;
my $data = $xml->XMLin( $movieData );

my $released = escapeSingleQuote($data->{movie}->{released});
my $rating = escapeSingleQuote($data->{movie}->{imdbRating});
my $director = escapeSingleQuote($data->{movie}->{director});
my $genre = escapeSingleQuote($data->{movie}->{genre});
my $writer = escapeSingleQuote($data->{movie}->{writer});
my $runtime = escapeSingleQuote($data->{movie}->{runtime});
my $plot = escapeSingleQuote($data->{movie}->{plot});
my $imdb = escapeSingleQuote($data->{movie}->{imdbID});
my $title = escapeSingleQuote($data->{movie}->{title});
my $votes = escapeSingleQuote($data->{movie}->{imdbVotes});
my $poster = escapeSingleQuote($data->{movie}->{poster});
my $year = escapeSingleQuote($data->{movie}->{year});
my $rated = escapeSingleQuote($data->{movie}->{rated});
my $actors = escapeSingleQuote($data->{movie}->{actors});

my $tstamp = time();

print "INSERT INTO movie_collection VALUES (NULL , '$title', '$year', ";
print "'$rated', '$released', '$genre', '$director', '$writer', '$actors', '$plot', ";
print "'$poster', '$runtime', '$rating', '$votes', '$imdb', '$tstamp');\n";

sub escapeSingleQuote {
my $str = shift;
$str =~ s/\'/\\'/g;
return $str;

Once the sql file creation is done , we ‘ll make a system call from Perl to run the exported jar file of our Java project. This means that we need to add the following line in the end of the script:   

my $cmd = "perl \"$_\"";
system "java -jar absolute/path/to/the/exported/jar/file.jar"

Finally, everything is fired up from command line, so, keeping in mind the exact locations of the required files (movies list, jar and generates sql’s file), execute the following command:

perl movielist.txt > sqlInserts.sql

For more details, there’s also a git repository that hosts this project 🙂


How to install Perl and cURL on Windows


Perhaps you ‘ll never need Perl, but when you are about to do it, you obviously don’t want to mess with cygwin and stuff like that.
I actually found a simple solution to get it up and running in about 5 minutes, together with cURL installation, without configuring anything on your environment, but only running the .msi installers.

If you don’t actually know it, Strawberry Perl is the most stable version for Windows, so:

  • Visit Strawberry Perl site.
  • Download the version that matches your system (I’m on a 64-bit machine):
  • Run the installer.
The installer automatically places the Perl directory under the correspong Program Files folder (so, for me, it is under “Program Files”, but if you selected the 32-bit version of it, it should place it under “Program Files (x86)”.
It also adds the perl executables to your system path, by default.

  • Validate the successful installation of Perl, to your system: 
I suppose the only reason for someone to start using Perl in 2014, is related to web technology, i.e transfering data by using different protocols. An easy way to do that, is by using the cURL tool.
While on my investigation to do this without having to use cygwin or my cmd, I found this site, that also provides an .msi installer in a reliable way, like the one we ‘ve used for Perl (the highlighted version is what worked for me):

So, when the installation is finished, you just have to validate that you ‘re good to go: